Kids are not for everyone. Yet, many default to expecting people to start procreating once they settle down, even insisting that those who claim not to want children will surely someday change their minds. Especially women.
But there are plenty of valid reasons for living child-free. And if a person doesn't want to commit to spending around 18 years of their life caring for another human being whose well-being depends entirely on them, maybe we shouldn't force them into it? Regardless of whether or not they belong to the heteronormative part of society.
Drawing attention to the problem, Redditor AGstudios22 asked other platform users who don't plan on having kids what made them come to that conclusion, and we thought that reading through the answers can provide you with quite a few interesting insights, regardless of your own position.
#1From my own experience, I don’t like the thought of bringing a kid into the world we live in. I’d much sooner adopt a kid who’s in a shifty place or in a struggling area. There are millions of kids starving out there, there are millions of kids being abused out there. Rather save one of them than bring another kid into this retched place
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#2Selfishness. I like the freedom of being able to wake up or go wherever i want without worrying “whos gonna watch my kids” or “my kids are awake so i have to be awake” so i guess I value my personal freedom more then anything a child could provide me
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#3The fact that nothing really makes me WANT to have them. I feel like you should have an overwhelming desire to become a parent - I don’t, so why would I have a kid?
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#4I've been dealing with a mentally disabled older brother for nearly all my life. He's 32 yrs old, but acts like a 7 yr old nearly ALL the time. I love him to death, but after so long of dealing with him growing up (I'm 22), I just do not have the patience to handle something like that again.
VanessaClarkLove replied: This is my big one. I feel terrible for this, but the fear of having a child that isn’t going to grow into a fully independent person with no limitations stopped me dead. If there was a guarantee they would be of average mental capability, I might reconsider.
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#5Not wanting to pass on genetic chronic pain/mental illness. Also kids = no money
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#6I can barely take care of myself sometimes it feels like, can’t possibly take on another human. More selfishly there’s still a lot of things I want to do that I couldn’t if I had a kid. Lastly, just a pessimistic view of the world and the desire to not want to bring new life into that.
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#7Those kids who have parents that are perfectly normal but still somehow act like mini serial killers.
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#8Well the total lack of wishing to have a child. Zero desire. Just like I have no desire to have a pet rhino or become a lawyer.
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#9my mental health and financial situation. i wouldn’t want to raise a kid the same way i was raised.
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#10I've just never wanted any. I never played with baby dolls as a child, I never thought twice about babysitting as a teen, and I was always uncomfortable whenever people said "*when* you have kids" (as opposed to "*if*").
I never found babies cute, I can't imagine spending 24/7 with a little human, and most of all the idea of being responsible for this little creature's happiness and growth, and making sure they become a decent, functioning human being, is *incredibly* intimidating.
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#11I’ve been clinically depressed for almost a decade. Post partum depression is one of the things that terrifies me about the prospect of having kids. Also I am in no way mentally stable enough to be a parent.
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#12After rent, food, and insurance I only come away with 200$ a month profit. Which is usually eaten up by a single doctor visit or necessary car part. And I live with two roommates.
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#13My neighbor has 7 of them. The only form of communication in that house is screaming. The teenage boy just screamed in the middle of my typing this. Kid is absolute s***e at whatever game he's trying to play. My work meetings are constantly interrupted by his whiny cursing/crying sessions.
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#14Because all the "best" kid moments to me are not worth losing the ability for my husband and I to spontaneously take off a random Wednesday from our jobs, have some THC, and enjoy the 1200$ Xbox bundle we just got.
Which is what we did today. No ragrets.
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#15I have tokophobia (extreme fear of pregnancy).
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#16The vast majority of parents I meet complain subtley about having children and how much of a struggle it is, how expensive it is, how they get no sleep, no free time etc.
Then, they usually realise they can't be seen to complain about having children and finish their complaints by saying "But its the best thing I ever did." This part always feels like the least genuine bit and everything before feels like the truth.
Furthermore, one of my best friends has a child and spoke candidly about it, saying "I love him to bits but wish I hadn't have had a kid."
Source: Im a teacher who deals with kids and parents daily.
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#17It's irreversible, you can't unhave kids when you've committed to it, so when you have all those doubts and fears you might not be a good parent, it's hard to take the plunge.
Plus I'd have to find someone to have a kid with and make more money for it to be viable but I think they're secondary to actually wanting to go through with it.
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#18I find them annoying.
Also I have no paternal instinct, don't have the temperament to be a good parent, and I'm poor.
It would be unfair to any child to have me imposed on them as a parent.
#19Honestly, TikTok etc..
I can raise a kid how I think right but there’s only so much you can shield them from the internet and I’m scared of what the future holds with celebrity/influencer brainwashing culture.
I feel like my generation (early 90’s) was the last generation that was largely safe from this..
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#20My wife and I have actually had numerous conversations about this. We're both in our 30s, and while not rich by any extent, could certainly afford them.
Our hesitation is broad;
* We both are concerned with where the country and world is going and wonder if it's responsible to bring children into it right now. To say the trajectory is bad is an understatement. I mean take your pick: we have fascism on the rise across the globe, global warming or climate change setting the world on fire year in and year out, and an economic system that seems to be so corrupt it makes the gilded age look tame.
* While we can afford children we know how much of a financial burden it actually is. It's a huge commitment to allocate basically all of your money to just basic necessities and things that when I was growing up weren't needed. I mean I grew up going to public schools and while I imagine we could send our kid or kids there it wouldn't provide them the same quality of education as your basic private school. Not saying it's the end all be all to send your kids to private school but in our area it's almost a must considering how badly the public schools have been defunded.
* The amount of work. We both are working pretty long hours so to add a child on top of that is difficult. I'm sure raising kids is rewarding but I'm also sure it's exhausting so to sign up for that is a bit daunting.
* We're happy with how things are right now. We both love each other very much and lead fulfilling lives so it's not as if we feel an urge to really change that. I'm positive I'd love my child too and the life we'd give them but it's not really as if we feel unfulfilled at the moment. So considering we don't feel an imperative to change anything we're kind of in a state of "do you want them? not really? ok"
Again this is not to say I don't understand why people want to have children. In fact I get why I'd love to raise them, I just don't feel as if ethically or financially it makes a lot of sense and I don't want to volunteer for the radical change to my life that would come from it.
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#21- history of severe life altering mental health issues I would NEVER wish to risk passing on (bi-polar, clinical depression, psychosis etc) my Mother and Grandmother on her side. Somehow I seem to have turned out okay but it meant I had a really difficult upbringing, but I would hate to go through what she does and don't want to risk passing it on.
- Lack of freedom / spontaneity. My fiancé and I are like adult children, we're in our 30's and love to play computer games, go out for random ice cream at 11pm, last minute overseas holidays, go out for meals etc whenever we want, I do not want to give that up. A holiday with a child sounds like a chore to me too. Every outing has to be calculated and organised, a simple trip to the store is now a huge chore and time consuming.
- Loss of self, I don't want to become "Mummy" and nothing else. (Not saying that's what happens to everyone, but I feel some people get lost in their kids and lose all sense of themselves as their world now revolves around their children, which is understandable).
- Cost. I do not want to struggle financially, I absolutely cannot afford children and I think it is selfish to have them when you can't provide for them appropriately. Unlike some childfree people, I don't want to put all my focus into my career, I have an average job, it pays enough, without kids I am able to have a comfortable life but I also LOVE my job and am happy. If I had kids we would have to change careers or get second jobs, which I am not willing to do.
- No experience with kids, I don't know what to do with them our how to talk to them. (Please note, I don't hate kids at all, I just don't want any am and awkward with them) I have zero first cousins, my brother is also child free so no nieces or nephews, I've always been awkward around kids even as a kid, and knew from quite a young age parenthood wasn't for me. I do not feel like I have a maternal instinct at all. I do not get giddy seeing babies, but show me a puppy and i'll be melting!
- Lack of sleep, stress. I want a peaceful and somewhat simple life. I enjoy quiet, I enjoy alone time, I enjoy my sleep. Children to not align with that whatsoever.
- Affect on relationship. Children can ruin relationships, it's not their fault but they do. Lack of intimacy, lack of quality time, financial issues causing problems etc. This is something people can work through, but I don't want to risk putting a strain on my relationship as things are perfect for us as they are.
- Risk of severe disability. I absolutely am not willing to look after a severely disabled child for the rest of my life. I have seen how absolutely broken some of these parents are. I saw 2 people yesterday who were clearly husband and wife in their 70's pushing around what appeared to be their profoundly disabled 40ish year old son. That is not the life I am willing to have, but I also don't want to put myself in a position to have to give a child up for adoption.
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#22I love my kids but they completely ruined my life and i don't advocate for anyone to have them
#23I work for Disney, and what I can say is 50% of parents look miserable. You’re on vacation with your family, and everyone’s miserable the whole time. That worries me. If your kid can’t stop crying in public on vacation, how does that kid react at home?
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#24The screaming in the next aisle over at the grocery store because they can't have the
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#25Watching my sister's kid get kicked out of daycare for slamming a kids face into a table and hitting a teacher. he's 3, and the most difficult kid I've met.
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I’ve always been terrified of pregnancy, but I thought I’d feel more comfortable with it as I got older.
Nope. I’m 34 and the thought of being pregnant still freaks me out to no end. I’d love to adopt, but I don’t think I ever want to be pregnant.
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#27Watching Supernanny… AND watching horny and selfish people reproduce, only to abuse their children when they’re older ?
#28You know when you are out in public, and you see parents of children and immediately think, "Those people should have never had kids."?
That's me. I'm those people. Not only do I agree with you, I also took your advice.
#29Losing the rest of my youth in exchange for raising a child.
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#3047 married no kids.
DINK life is amazing. Out of all my friends from growing up etc who have kids ranging from 3 years to 24, my wife and I have the least amount of stress. So many of them are divorced with complicated child visit schedules. So many of them can't take vacations and do things they want to do. They are stressed out all the time.
Then COVID hit-- and holy s**t. My wife and I had like a 4 month vacation during the shut down. Working out, sitting by the pool all day, watching movies, drinking cocktails on the patio- it was a taste of retirement- and its within our reach by 55. We saw our friends dealing with all the complications with virtual school etc. Yikes.
We have a low stress life. We have enough money to do what we want, live where we want, travel when we want, drive nice cars, go to nice restaurants, take a weekend in Napa, etc.
The idea that you MUST have kids is insane. There are too many people on Earth. We are going into a time of food and water shortages, probably wars over resources. Its just not worth it. We're at the end of the pinnacle of civilization in my opinion. People won't be able to live as comfortable as we can now because resources will be scarce and sadly humans seem to have no desire to solve the climate problem before its too late.
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#31Can I answer even though I have them?
The fact that I have them makes me not want them.
I love my kids and will lay down my life for them, but raising kids SUCKS!
They financially, physically and mentally suck the life out of you.
Sure they have their moments but there is nothing rewarding about raising kids, the only thing you get in return is judgement and premature aging.
I don't regret having them, but man I'll be celebrating hard when they're adults and leave home.
#32One of the BIG reasons is that no one I know that has children makes it look the least bit attractive. They use their children alternately as trophies, bargaining chips, and excuses. If I had kids I'd have to hang out with parents more, and my god, they're boring. I was part of a book club once that happened to be mostly moms. The first couple of sessions we talked about the books and our hobbies, but then they co-opted the whole thing to talk about their boring-a*s kids.
I also enjoy freedom with my husband. We both work from home and can travel quite a bit when we want. It's already hard enough to find a petsitter.
#33World's overpopulated, would rather rescue a kid from the system
#34It costs too much. The average birth costs like 40k without complications. Decent daycare near me is $1400 a month. That alone is crippling.
It's bad for the environment and I question the morality of putting my children through the potential climate wars and/or apocalypse.
Also, sometimes despite your best efforts and doing everything correctly, your kids turn out to be a**holes.
#351. Trauma my parents gave me
2. Cost of having a child
3. Loss of freedom
4. Potential of raising a murderer or rapist
5. Health issues before, after and during pregnancy
#36I really, really don't want to be a parent and I feel like that should at the very least be a prerequisite to having them. My grandmother didn't seem to enjoy parenthood, my mom certainly didn't. They did it because they were "supposed to". I'm breaking the cycle.
#37mainly I don't want to put up with them, I don't need to deal with kid s**t that never stops, just changes form.
#38All of it - the money, the time, the mental toll, the world we live in, the overpopulation, the lack of interest in kids, the lack of a partner, the presumable lack of parental skills, my own autism, the autism that my kids would probably inherit...
#39thought climate change would be the most obvious answer. people who are young now are gonna suffer, but kids being born now are going to face hell.
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#40Glanced at a newspaper recently?
Everything written in it is worse than they're saying, on balance.
#41Late Stage Capitalism and Climate Change
#42After what’s going on in America right now I’m considering getting my tubes tied
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#43I don't think being born into this s**t is something I want to inflict on another person without their consent. If I felt that being a good parent and helping my kid was enough, I would consider it. As it stands, I'm much more interested in adoption.
#44The idea that I'd rather be an established surgeon living a comfortable life rather than a struggling white collar worker attempting to juggle a family and marriage.
#45Not trusting myself enough that I'd be motivated enough to take care about them constantly and treat them the way they deserve!
#46I don’t want my person/offspring/child to be hurt by the s**tty people in this world. Overall I think I could make a decent person, but it’s the crappy ones that make me not want to put someone else here.
#47At the end of the day, it's my wife's personal decision if she wants to put herself through that. The more we hang out with couples the that have decided not to raise children and are in the same socioeconomic class as us, the better that situation looks on just about every front.
#48Money, responsibility, not having any good genes to pass on.
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#49I would be a *terrible* parent.
#50I wake up everyday wanting to make myself happy, enjoy life, and travel. It sounds a bit selfish - but I know I'd be unhappy and resentful knowing my sole purpose was taking care of children and their happiness. It's 18 years of putting your needs last and I'd rather be able to choose what I do for myself everyday.
#51Bottom dysphoria, being gay/ace as f**k, crumbling capitalist society, the erosion of reason and logic in our government, crushing poverty and the lack of stable long-term housing, lack of healthcare and daycare options, unfulfilled ambitions that are more appealing than parenthood right now...
You know. Millennial problems.
#52Germaphobia, I don’t like crumbs and spilled juice everywhere.
#53They're loud, annoying, expensive, gross, and I like to sleep. I don't want to be woken up in the middle of the night
#54I recognize the irony here… but they’re selfish… and ungrateful. Kids rarely show gratitude for anything you do for them, they don’t like to share, they’re wildly disrespectful, and I don’t have the tool set to correct those things before they become free actors in society.
Kids can ruin the mood in an entire room or establishment, they can destroy the most valuable things you own without real consequence, they can hurt people both physically and emotionally, and they build a prison around you financially. Doesn’t that sound terrible?
#55I do not want to deal with pregnancy, I do not want my perineum cut open, I don't want to p**s my pants for the rest of my life.
I do not have the patience to be a good mother. I do not have the skills. I was horrifically abused as a child and then dumped in the foster care system. I never ever had a sane and stable guardian, so what skills could I bring? Of courses most people's answer is that 'you figure it out', but I am a twice degreed Social Worker with extensive experience working with people who should not have been parents, and I can tell you that sometimes you do NOT figure it the f**k out.
Money. I JUST got to the point where I'm positive I can have enough money to pay my bills AND eat. And I'm about to turn 40 years old. If I had a child before this time, I would've been extremely stressed due to poverty, and just ended up working two jobs and never seeing the kid.
The father. Takes two to make a baby, and I've never met a man I want to deal with for the rest of my life.
I love to travel solo. I love to explore this world (well, in the Before Times, anyway). I would not have the time, money, or ability to travel the way I want.
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#56*gestures wildly* the state of the f*****g world, maybe?
It’s irresponsible to bring a child into the world not knowing if you can provide for them a happy, healthy childhood. And as an American, I just can’t envision a future where my next of kin doesn’t suffer terribly for the economic and ecological blunders of our leadership.
#57My ex who said "now you can't leave me"
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#58It’s taken me 30 years to “find myself.” When I imagine losing all of that identity and replacing it with a big MAMA BEAR sticker, my stomach turns.
There are some aspects of having a kid that are appealing: they’ll adore me, they might end up loving all the same music/ movies/ hobbies as me, they’ll love and care for me when I’m old. But none of that is guaranteed and seems selfish and also not worth the gamble.
Also my family generally ignores me but loses their minds around babies and if that’s the only reason they would want to be in my life then no thanks.
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#59The idea of being responsible for a human being isn't for me.
#60I'd be a control freak out of fear, too much responsibility plus i hate crying.
#61I was briefly married to a pedophile. It made it clear to me that I can't tell who has the potential to be a threat to my child's well being. I've known several women who were victims of CSA. I couldn't bear the thought of my child suffering like they do. It seemed like a better idea to just opt out.
I grew up in a huge family so I've always been around children and love spending time with them but it's gotten so expensive to have one that I worry my income will never be where it should be to give a child a good life without stressing me or my wife out 24/7
#63Seeing my family. This curse ends with me.
#64Generational trauma. Trying my best to change the family script!
#65All the poop, pee, cries, and screams ?
#66The time, the expense. I don’t like kids much. It just never felt like a good match for me and it wouldn’t be fair to have kids knowing how I feel about it.
#67I work fulltime in a crèche. There's no way I'm spending 9-6 with children and then coming home to more children. Nope.
#68I want to spend my time and money doing what I enjoy. I can't do that with kids.
#69In my opinion, you have one life, why waste it on kids? Why waste all the time, money, effort, on kids? After you die, you die. Kids need tons of love, care, attention and so forth, i aint capable of providing that shii anyways, i am dead inside and i wouldnt make a good father figure
#70Children are cool and all but they consume your life. They become your main responsibility, take all your love and you give it willingly, require so much money and they're just their own person. It's cool that we're able to do that and it sounds fun, sometimes. But if that's my life for the rest of my life? No thank you.
I just want to be my own person.